Around the remains of the Siri dynasty lies a quaint little place, what we Delhi people call the ‘Urban Village’. The set up of this village lays behind the Tohfewala Gumbad and stretches of the thick city walls of the Asian Games Village which was made in the early 80’s.
A few years ago Shahpur Jat had a few takers as far as investments in property or as a place for tourist appeal. But with the advent of numerous fashion stores and sweatshops in the area, the Jats of Shahpur Jat have found the end of the rainbow in real estate. With over a 100 designers who have set up shop here, Shahpur Jat is a paradise for shoppers who are bored with the humdrum of malls popping everywhere. Its close proximity to the now designer Hauz Khas Village also has been quite an incitement for the visitors looking designer clothes with without the prize tag. Young entrepreneurs are investing in the little corner of Delhi with innovative ideas for their outlets in the area. The place doesn’t honestly have much of a parking space or wide roads, and some have to walk quite a bit to get to these stores, but in the winter sun of Delhi, it is really worth it. The people you see their may range from hookah smoking, turban wearing, wrinkled old man sitting next to a charpoy while his veiled wife/daughter-in-law serves him chilled lassi in a tall steel glass to a short skirt wearing, wayfairer donning young girl in stilettos, store hopping with the latest Louis Vitton Bag slung across her arm. It is a myriad of noises and visuals juxtaposing a 800 year old settlement with the contemporary fast moving elusive world of fashion.
It’s a one stop destination whether you need Ethnic clothing or custom made shoes shahpur jat is the place to go. The Shoe Garage, more popularly known as TSG has a loyal clientele that has been with it for some time now. There are some new ones like ‘Avni’ and ‘Antardesi’, both of which have just started out a few years ago and have already made a niche for themselves. Antardesi which has been working with mainly Menswear since their inception has already grown into quite big. Avni, which works with women’s wear, has beautiful appliqué motifs in some of their design with a lot of interesting draped bottom pieces along with some traditional silhouettes. There are some other stores as well that work with various types of designs meant for all ages; ‘Melon’ by Ms. Surinder Gill does custom tailoring at very affordable prices. Her ensembles (women’s wear) have very fine detailing with a fit which can match any big designer name that one can think of. She does Shirts, short kurtas, long kurtas, trousers as well as custom designs as per the client. My personal favourite is ‘Revolution Clothing’ which makes plus size designer clothes for women (and why not).
For those who are willing to support the handicraft industry in India, which happens to be a huge rage these days, Dastkar is a good option for your home décor items. From lamps to terracotta items, or printed table cloth and bedroom linen, Dastkar offers a variety of options for items that are low priced and value for money. ‘Happily Unmarried, and Creativegarh both store New Age Home décor items, while ‘Happily Unmarried’ is known for its tongue in cheek items that have a Funky appeal especially to the younger crowd, 'Creativegarh' has almost everything you could think of; from candles to kitchen accessories. The store 'Just Around The Corner', an eclectic collection of accessories from various labels, is actually famous even with my non Delhi Friends. They have a (atleast did when i visited) a funky collection of eco friendly bags, some chunky beady street jewelry (which i Dig), some very beautifully colored hand painted canvas shoes, Chumbak Items; quite a collection and worth a look.
Shahpur Jat has even got a place for book Lovers. Bookwise, a modern day book cafe, with a wide range of authors from India and abroad. It has a quite ambience with a seating and coffee for book lovers who could spend hours there just flipping through, buying and also maybe walking into a book reading session that is held their at times. Apart from Bookwise there is also the publishing house Tulika Publishers in the same area.
|Bookwise, Photo Credit|
This small corner of Delhi sandwiched by the posh Hauz Khas and Asiad Village, is a Labyrinth of lanes and bylanes which easily can guide you to a jungle of concrete matchboxes piled on top of each other. Going there with people already in the know is a good idea to be honest. And always makes more sense. But exploring this area might be more fun than it appears.
This article has also been published here
This article has also been published here